Posts Tagged ‘Raspberry Pi’

First HAB flights were a success

Two years after discovering the hobby of High Altitude Ballooning I have migrated from being just a passive tracker and finally completed my first flights assisted by other members of the South Kesteven ARS.
Ready to launch
Back in March I posted about the opportunity I had to make a launch at this years Swaton Vintage Day and the 10th World Egg Throwing Championship

South Kesteven ARS were going to hold a special event station with the call sign GB2EGG. During the planning stage I jokingly suggested throwing an egg in to space on board a balloon, I shouldn't have yoked...

The whole venture captured everyone's imagination, sadly putting the special event station in the shade but we certainly got a lot of publicity for the club and amateur radio in general.

Featured on front page of local paper

There was certainly a lot to learn and get organised, not only did I have to design and build the flight computer which was the easy part but I had to build the payload containers get the balloon, parachute, cord the lifting gas (Helium) and build a filler assembly as well as getting official permission from the CAA for the launch.

The information on the UKHAS wiki as well as Dave Akerman's High Altitude Ballooning, From The Ground Up (and back again) were invaluable.

The cost of this venture was not insubstantial and thankfully MADHEN - The Ultimate Party Band agreed to sponsor the flight which helped greatly and I received a nice donation from fellow club member Mark Orbell (M0OBL)

Months of work and lots of last minute hitches but I was ready.

Two flights were planned an altitude 'burst' flight with a raw egg payload with a parachute decent. The main tracker MADHEN would broadcast SSDV images and telemetry with a telemetry backup tracker EGG1 suspended below it.  The second flight was a foil party balloon 'floater' with a tracker kindly donated by Steve Smith G0TDJ of ProjectAVR

Both flights flew and were a great success, unfortunately the SSDV tracker failed early in the flight so no in flight images were received.

The main payload is pictured below before the flight resting on its side. The Styrofoam box contained the flight computer and radio transmitter with a camera attached to the Raspberry Pi and the "flying saucer" model which contained the egg was positioned to be visible.
 

As this test image shows the 'egg saucer' should have had the earth below it.


However the arduino based backup tracker which was suspended below it worked perfectly.

There were some issues with getting CAA approval because the sky was very busy on the day including the last remaining Vulcan Bomber VH-558 making its farewell flight in the area, cue jokes about the Vulcan getting scrambled... but approval was given for a morning flight, not ideal for the organisers but we were still a spectacle for the handful who were there early.

Starting the fill

Checking the neck lift, made difficult by the wind

Stewart (M0SDM) helping me tie off the balloon and payload cord
The strong gusty wind made launch difficult
Me and Stewart making a dash to assist the launch
Someone was on hand to capture it on video for The World Egg Throwing Federation


It started so well,  I was receiving telemetry and image packets and then transmission stopped


However as I said the other tracker worked brilliantly and this was the final flight path as visualised in Google Earth. The ascent and decent rate and the burst altitude were exactly as planned and predicted, so I know I got the neck lift measurement right even with the high wind on the day.

Path of MADHEN/EGG1

A splashdown at sea was inevitable due to the wind conditions, hopefully it it survived the landing it may wash up on a beach somewhere and we can retrieve the images.

With what little Helium remained I was able to lightly fill and launch a foil party balloon carrying a blown egg shell as a 'floater' which made a valiant attempt to reach the continent at 6-7km high travelling at 120+km/hr where it reportably hit bad weather and was downed.

Path of EGGDX in comparison to MADHEN/EGG1

 All in all an eggscellent day!

First HAB flights were a success

Two years after discovering the hobby of High Altitude Ballooning I have migrated from being just a passive tracker and finally completed my first flights assisted by other members of the South Kesteven ARS.
Ready to launch
Back in March I posted about the opportunity I had to make a launch at this years Swaton Vintage Day and the 10th World Egg Throwing Championship

South Kesteven ARS were going to hold a special event station with the call sign GB2EGG. During the planning stage I jokingly suggested throwing an egg in to space on board a balloon, I shouldn't have yoked...

The whole venture captured everyone's imagination, sadly putting the special event station in the shade but we certainly got a lot of publicity for the club and amateur radio in general.

Featured on front page of local paper

There was certainly a lot to learn and get organised, not only did I have to design and build the flight computer which was the easy part but I had to build the payload containers get the balloon, parachute, cord the lifting gas (Helium) and build a filler assembly as well as getting official permission from the CAA for the launch.

The information on the UKHAS wiki as well as Dave Akerman's High Altitude Ballooning, From The Ground Up (and back again) were invaluable.

The cost of this venture was not insubstantial and thankfully MADHEN - The Ultimate Party Band agreed to sponsor the flight which helped greatly and I received a nice donation from fellow club member Mark Orbell (M0OBL)

Months of work and lots of last minute hitches but I was ready.

Two flights were planned an altitude 'burst' flight with a raw egg payload with a parachute decent. The main tracker MADHEN would broadcast SSDV images and telemetry with a telemetry backup tracker EGG1 suspended below it.  The second flight was a foil party balloon 'floater' with a tracker kindly donated by Steve Smith G0TDJ of ProjectAVR

Both flights flew and were a great success, unfortunately the SSDV tracker failed early in the flight so no in flight images were received.

The main payload is pictured below before the flight resting on its side. The Styrofoam box contained the flight computer and radio transmitter with a camera attached to the Raspberry Pi and the "flying saucer" model which contained the egg was positioned to be visible.
 

As this test image shows the 'egg saucer' should have had the earth below it.


However the arduino based backup tracker which was suspended below it worked perfectly.

There were some issues with getting CAA approval because the sky was very busy on the day including the last remaining Vulcan Bomber VH-558 making its farewell flight in the area, cue jokes about the Vulcan getting scrambled... but approval was given for a morning flight, not ideal for the organisers but we were still a spectacle for the handful who were there early.

Starting the fill

Checking the neck lift, made difficult by the wind

Stewart (M0SDM) helping me tie off the balloon and payload cord
The strong gusty wind made launch difficult
Me and Stewart making a dash to assist the launch
Someone was on hand to capture it on video for The World Egg Throwing Federation


It started so well,  I was receiving telemetry and image packets and then transmission stopped


However as I said the other tracker worked brilliantly and this was the final flight path as visualised in Google Earth. The ascent and decent rate and the burst altitude were exactly as planned and predicted, so I know I got the neck lift measurement right even with the high wind on the day.

Path of MADHEN/EGG1

A splashdown at sea was inevitable due to the wind conditions, hopefully it it survived the landing it may wash up on a beach somewhere and we can retrieve the images.

With what little Helium remained I was able to lightly fill and launch a foil party balloon carrying a blown egg shell as a 'floater' which made a valiant attempt to reach the continent at 6-7km high travelling at 120+km/hr where it reportably hit bad weather and was downed.

Path of EGGDX in comparison to MADHEN/EGG1

 All in all an eggscellent day!

Eggciting HAB projects

I have a new high altitude balloon project, this one is very Eggciting.

In June my club South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society (SKARS) will be operating a special event station at the Swaton Vintage Day held at Thorpe Latimer in Lincolnshire. 

The 2015 Swaton Vintage Day will also host the 10th World Egg Throwing Championship  and in recognition the special event station will have the call sign GB2EGG. This popular annual show raises money for local, national and international good causes.

Egg Throwing is recognised by the English Sports Council and the sport is taken very seriously by some competitors. Hundreds of competitors from Europe and around the world are expected to compete this year. Last year’s event attracted teams from Germany, Slovenia, Hong Kong and Brazil.

While planning the special event station I jokingly suggested throwing an egg in to space on board a balloon, I shouldn't have yoked as it is now a serious project. The idea coming from Dave Akerman's Spudnik flight for Heston Blumenthal’s Channel4 television program.

Image with the permission of Dave Akerman
Subject to Civil Aviation Authority clearance and weather conditions I will hopefully launch a high altitude balloon carrying one lucky egg into the edge of space and then dropping it back to earth under a parachute. In addition to the plucky Eggstronaut the balloon I have called Eggsplorer-1 will carry a radio transmitter to broadcast its position, altitude and live images of the journey back to earth.

On board cameras will record the journey to be recovered on a successful return to Earth. Radio enthusiasts all around the country will be able to assist receiving the data and pictures and track the progress of the flight via the UK High Altitude Society tracking website.

More details and progress will be posted on here and on the Eggsplorer-1 website  and you can follow developments on twitter @eggsplorer1South Kesteven ARS welcomes anybody with an interest in radio communications, so if want to be involved in this and other events like this please visit us at the show or visit the South Kestevan ARS website and on twitter @M0SKR

I have already begun development of the payload, unlike the moth-balled NERD-1 payload this one will use one of the Raspberry Pi boards since I want to transmit SSDV images live and it supports its own specially designed camera modules. NERD-1 will still fly as a backup tracker.

Dave Akerman (M0RPI) and Anthony Stirk (M0UPU) have developed the Pi-In-The-Sky ready made boards and the design and software are open-sourced, using this as a starting point together with Phil Heron's (MI0VIM) SSDV software I quickly had a prototype dubbed NERDPI running.


I did have an issue since the GPS module I currently have only outputs serial data so had to use one of those small TTL USB-Serial adapters and spun some of my own code to get the data out and was soon successfully decoding my own transmissions from the shack and uploading them to the Habhub system.


Today has seen the spectacular partial solar eclipse here in the UK, during the eclipse several HAB flights were launched to try to capture images above any cloud cover (details here)  Fellow SKARS members and members from the Grantham ARC were keen to decode the SSDV images themselves as the BBC Stargazing Live balloons were flying from nearby Leicester.

So on Wednesday I did a talk and demonstration to show how to track and decode the images, it was well received and I uploaded pictures of the audience to the system.



Unfortunately technical issues prevented live images from the Stargazing HABs being transmitted but I was able to decode some images from the University of Southampton OLAF payload They were only lo-res but still pleased to get decodes here it was a good distance from me.

Here in Newark the sky was beautifully clear so the eclipse was visible and spectacular, where OLAF was flying was covered in cloud, so the mission was a success.







   

Echolink node update

Well the node is up and seems to be running reasonably well. The software is reporting distortion on the input but I think that is more to do with the close rf during testing. There are now some isolating transformers and a resistor in series to knock back a bit of signal and it seems to be ok when I connect through the web interface. Perhaps some other measures might help. Its still running on vox but until I can work out how to do the ptt easily I’ll stick with that.

I’ll leave it on for a while and see what I get back from the locals. Here’s a reminder of the details

Callsign – MB7IAH-L

Node number – 243350

Freq – 144.9625 Mhz

CTCSS – 103.5Hz

Power – 1.6w (hold onto your rf hats!)

Antenna – 1/2 wave dipole

All powered by a Raspberry Pi, Svxlink and a Baofeng UV-5R.

Enjoy

LHS Episode #123: Busted for Jaycasting

jay-dighsxHello, folks! It’s February 2014, and we finally announce the winner of our Raspberry Pi contest! But before all that excitement, we have a great interview with a fellow radio amateur. Around that, we have news and information about the usual suspects, and covering it all is a thick layer of fun. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope to see you all in Dayton in May. Please donate to our Indiegogo campaign if you can. Every little bit helps. And don’t forget about the perks!

73 de The LHS Guys

Show Notes #119

Episode #119 Audio (Listen now!):

Topics
  • Amazon delivery drones comming soon to a town near you
Main Topics
  • WEFAX and APT

Announcements & Feedback

  • Shout-out to Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK
  • New Contest:  Win a Raspberry Pi
    • The contest began December 1st, 2013 and runs through January 31st, 2014.  The winner will be announced on the live recording of LHS Episode #123 on February 4th, 2014.  Entries must be received by 12:00am Central on February 1st, 2014 in order to participate.  There are three ways to win.
    • Active Linux in the Ham Shack paid members will be automatically  entered to win.  Therefore, if you are already a member or if you sign  up for a membership (either monthly or yearly) by January 31st, 2014 you will be entered into the contest.  Your membership must still be active on February 4th, 2014 at the time of the drawing to win.
    • You may also enter by calling the LHS Voice Line at +1-909-547-7469  and completing the following thought:  “My new Raspberry Pi will be used  to…”  Be as serious or ludicrous as you want.  This method of entry  requires no money, just a little of your time.  Make sure to leave your  phone number or e-mail address so we can contact you if you win.  Your  personal information will not be disclosed, but your response will be  played on the air!
    • You can render artistically in some way  your concept of a Raspberry Pi.  This can mean the computer, a raspberry  pie, or some other interpretation we haven’t thought of yet.  You can  use any artistic medium, from a sketch to beat poetry.  Be creative!   You will receive TWO entries into the contest if you choose this  option.  We will post your creativity on the Web site for others to  enjoy, and mention what you’ve done on the show. Have fun with it!
    • The  winner will receive a brand new Raspberry Pi, HDMI-to-DVI converter and  power supply with USB cable that can be used to power your new Pi from a  wall outlet or any powered USB port.  Thank you for being a loyal  follower of the show.  We look forward to your entries and best of luck!
  • Feedback
    • Voice mail from Doug, N6LMX
  • Donations & Subscriptions
    • Ben S. (Yearly)
    • Steve C. (Monthly)
  • Social Media Roundup
  • Facebook
    • Tom R.
    • Robert B.
  • Google+
    • Ben S.
  • Twitter
    • Dick (W4RNO) – @6L6GT
    • Jacob (KD0SJV) – @1094Jacob
    • Jim (KE4INM) – @KE4INM
    • @rf_transmitters
    • Vitaliy (UR6LAD) – @UR6LAD
  • Mailing List
    • Chuck (VE3VSA)
    • Gary (K6PDL)
    • Robert (AC8GE)
    • Sid (W8SFC)
    • Todd (K7HPY)
Outro
  • Please check out our website:  http://lhspodcast.info.
  • Become  an ambassador!  Visit the Web site for upcoming events and information  how you can represent Linux in the Ham Shack at a nearby Linux con or  hamfest.
  • You can e-mail us at [email protected] or leave a voice mail at 1-909-LHS-SHOW (547-7469).
  • All hate mail is routed to Harrison at [email protected]
  • Please subscribe to the mailing list.  A link is on the Web site.
  • Go  to CafePress and Printfection and buy some of our show merchandise.   Each purchase helps out the show.  You can also help the show by  clicking on the sponsored ads in the right-hand column of the homepage.
  • http://www.cafepress.com/lhspodcast
  • http://www.printfection.com/lhspodcast
  • Listen  live every every other Tuesday at 8:00pm Central time, or Wednesday at  0200z.  Our recording schedule and countdown timer to the next episode  is on the Web site.
  • Thank you to all of our listeners, live and quasi-live.

Music

  • “The Feel” by Backnbloom from the album Music for the Modern Monkey, courtesy of Jamendo and Rathole Radio.
  • “Love This Place” by Derek Clegg from the album Here Comes Your Fate, Quick Duck, courtesy of Rathole Radio and the Internet Archive.

LHS Episode #119: Just Keep Swimming

Scared_Nemo_Wallpaper_0w1r5An action-packed episode awaits your eager ears. In Episode #119 of Linux in the Ham Shack, your intrepid hosts discuss the new Cinnamon desktop, Amazon's desire to make deliveries by unmanned drones, WEFAX and slow-scan television. On top of that, there is information on the best light weight desktop environments for your computer, and the announcement of a new contest where you can win a Raspberry Pi. Check out the Contest page for more details. Thanks as always for being a loyal listener, and have a very merry holiday season!

73 de The LHS Guys


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